South African Barry Richards, reputedly one of the best batsmen in the world, arrived in Southampton this week after signing a new three-year contract with Hampshire Country Cricket Club.
CU TILT FROM Richards' car to Barry Richards looking into car (2 shots)
CU Richards interviewed (SOUND)
SV PAN FROM Scorebcard to cricket ground at Fareham
GV Pavilion and PAN of ground (2 shots)
CU Richards again interviewed(SOUND)
TRANSCRIPT SEQ 2: RICHARDS: "Well obviously I've had a lot of business offers in South Africa, and I was considering my future as a whole. With South Africa as t is today it's difficult to know what to do, and this is probably what took so long for me to negotiate a contract."
HARVEY: "Are you happy now about the terms that have been agreed?"
RICHARDS: "Yes they're reasonable terms for a three-year contract."
HARVEY: "Thee is talk that this contract's worth about GBP4,000 a year to you?"
RICHARDS: "Well I can soon tell you I wish it was. And I tell you whatever it was, I wouldn't have had any hesitation, I would have signed the next day, and I can assure people it isn't anywhere near that."
HARVEY: "In fact you've had a fantastic winter down in Australia, you've been sponsored at a dollar a run, you must be doing very well in terms of money from cricket."
RICHARDS: "Well if you consider 1,500 dollars as about six hundred quid in six months, which is 100 quid a month, plus a salary which wasn't a great deal--I did have a car and petrol and a flat supplied--I did reasonably well but not as well as some people are speculating."
HARVEY: "You have been described though as a batting mercenary."
RICHARDS: "That's only by the English Press. I hope I'm getting paid for this if I'm a batting mercenary." (LAUGHTER)
HARVEY: "Are you happy about the sort of Press treatment you've got?"
RICHARDS: "Well, you know, I've learnt to put up with it. It took me a few years of experience to find out exactly what to say and what not to say, what could be twisted and what can't be, and at various times I have had brushes with the Press if you like to put it that way, but I think it's an important part of the game...and you have things like television interviews and radio interviews, you must do, I think, as a cricketer, for the good of the game, that is."
HARVEY: "You are regarded now very much as a cricketing personality. In fact a lot of matches in Australia were advertising the "personal appearance of Barry Richards." Are you happy about that?"
RICHARDS: "Well I don't mind--obviously they must go ahead and publicise the match as best they think, and I'm not worried by the "personal appearance". They like to build up a sort of personal feud if there happens to be a fast bowler who's pretty well thought of in an opposing team, they always bill it as "A versus B" sort of thing. I don't mind--it probably brings in a little bit of interest."
SEQ 5: RICHARDS: "Well obviously that's not in my hands entirely and it's something on a higher plane other than sport, and it's a case of having to wait and see what pans out in the next six months or so."
HARVEY: "There has been talk of you going to Australia in order to be able to continue playing Test cricket?"
RICHARDS: "Well you know, I've subsequently found that would be impossible anyway, because with the three-year contract with Hampshire I'd have to leave Australia in their winter, in other words an English summer, and I wouldn't be allowed to do this under the rules of Lords. So that would dispel that even if I did have thoughts that way."
HARVEY: "In that case why not qualify for England, now that you're over here?"
RICHARDS: "No, the same would apply. In other words I'd have to live in England during the winter, and I wouldn't consider that either."
HARVEY: "Looking ahead now to your season with Hampshire, what do you think are the prospects?"
RICHARDS: "Well I think we've got a fairly useful side, and we've done well over the last three years, and I see no reason why we shouldn't do well again."
HARVEY: "Would you like the idea of being sponsored for this season in the same way you were in Australia?"
RICHARDS: "Provided it's in addition to my contract, I don't mind that at all. If somebody would like to come along and do it I'd be only too pleased to oblige them."
Initials BB/1310 GL/AW/BB/1322
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: South African Barry Richards, reputedly one of the best batsmen in the world, arrived in Southampton this week after signing a new three-year contract with Hampshire Country Cricket Club.
When he reported for duty at the County Ground in Southampton, where the season's first game is due to be played against Northamptonshire on I May, there was one extra piece of business to be completed--the handover of a new car, being loaned to Richards free by a local garage for the summer.
During the English winter, Richards plays for South Australia and the Prospect club side--he is sponsored by Coca-Cola, and each run he scores for either brings him one Australian dollar. Each wicket he takes earns him ten dollars, and he gets a basic salary of 100 dollars a week, for which he fulfils a full coaching programme.
Hampshire have been able to re-engage him only through the generosity of individual members who were prepared to bid high for his services, and the contract has taken months to hammer out.
This interview was recorded for the British Broadcasting Corporation by Andrew Harvey, who asked Richards to comment on his earnings and on his future Test career, in jeopardy since he led a demonstration against apartheid during a match in Capetown recently.